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Development Needs To Be Constructive

By Duncan Horscroft on June 4, 2015 in News

Photo: Duncan Horscroft

Photo: Duncan Horscroft

New development in the Eastern Suburbs has reached mammoth proportions and it’s time the councils started to think about compensation for the long-suffering residents who have to put up with the inconvenience.

For a long time now councils have washed their hands of the responsibility of overseeing new projects and have passed the ball to independent certifiers.

Councils receive payment from developers for the right to put up hoarding and signage as well as complying with Section 94, which is a contribution plan imposed by councils for the increase in infrastructure such as drainage and gutters, as well as the removal of rubbish and building waste.

In the past councils would provide a Clerk Of Works, who was solely responsible for the standards of all work undertaken. This would include concrete strength, the depth of pipes and cables for electricity, water, gas and telecommunications, as well as the quality of materials used.

Nowadays, once a development has been approved the certifier has to tick all the boxes and guarantee the work has met all standards, which, in some cases, has not been satisfactory.

In saying that, one local developer assured me the bar has been lifted as far as certification of work is concerned, with more stringent rules now in place because of the amount of dodgy developments in the past.

A high percentage of residential rebuilds in the Eastern Suburbs have been complete knockdowns and neighbours are not only enduring the inconvenience of the noise of tools and losing precious on-street parking spots, they’re all so having to put up with massive earth-moving juggernauts trundling up and down their streets.

Development of the old nursing home in Bronte Road is a classic example, with massive double-bogie trucks regularly roaring past the beachfront, churning up the roads and presenting a real danger as they head up the narrow road past Bronte House.

Those in the unit complexes bordering this development not only have to put up with the traffic chaos, they also have to deal with the dirt and dust churned up by the ongoing work.

Behind the Clovelly School there is a residential development that has been ongoing for around three years and massive trucks have been entering and leaving the narrow street.

This has happened during school drop-off times when the street is at its busiest and children have been at risk as these truck endeavour to manoeuvre around tight corners.

One local rang Waverley Council to report a truck blocking the road and was told to take it up with the certifier. Aren’t councils responsible for their streets, or do certifiers now have control of traffic movement on public streets as well?

Surely it’s time ratepayers living among these construction zones are recompensed for the inconvenience they have suffered.